Sunday, May 20, 2012

Silver State 50/50 Half Marathon

Man, it was a great day for a race. Just wish It didn't take me so long to finish it...

Rode my bike over to the start of the Silver State 50/50, down by the Wilbur May parking lot this year. Milled around and chatted with Darren, who was trying to get some aid station stuff organized. A few minutes before 8, we all trekked over to the start line, up near the entrance to the dog park, and got a pre-race briefing.

Chris stopped by to say hi after he had run a ways out with some of the 50K people. Talked for a minute, and before long we were off with a bang.

Last year, I was worried enough about my start position that I scouted out the best route through the marshy area near the dog park, so I wouldn't get stuck in a pack through there. This year, I just hung back and tried to find a group that was going my speed. Eventually we filtered out so that, heading up Evans Creek Canyon, I was in a pretty comfortable spot. Pretty much walked all of the hill out of the canyon, ran a little on the flats, then walked some more. That was pretty much my M.O. throughout the race.

There's the aid station at the radio towers - those folks had one of the longest days, since they had to be out early for the 50 milers who started at 6, and stay through when the last people went back through with only 3 miles left. Big thanks to all the volunteers.

It was a great day out there for wildlife. Early on I saw some of Peavine's ubiquitous rabbits, and just after the radio tower aid station, I almost ran into a snake crossing the trail. Not long after that, a coyote went loping across the hill just in front of me. Later on, the lizards were out in force, swishing back and forth on the rocks. Of course, there were birds all over the place too, singing to us the whole way.

There's the snake. Tried to get a picture of the coyote, but I can't pick him out in either of the shots I took. But here they are anyway - he's in there somewhere...

There was some nice flat fire road for a while, and I did a good portion of running. Then a short downhill before a good climb up to the pond and the aid station there.

Then, of course, the huge grinding hill up to the ridge aid station. Seriously, a fixed rope would not be out of place for that climb. A quick cup of sports drink at the aid station, and a long downhill section with great views awaited.

I sure wasn't flying on the downhills, though. I'd describe my uphill gait as "trudging", and on the downhills I was "trundling" along. So I trudged and trundled my way back through the radio tower aid station, over the ridge and back down into Rancho San Rafael.

They changed the finish are this year to inside the Great Basin Adventure park. I thought it made a great change - you get to finish running along the ponds, with red-wing blackbirds and waterfowl swimming around. And the park area was nice and contained, unlike the wide-open finish are from years past. I hope they can keep that change to the course for future years.

By the time I finished and had a couple cups of lemonade, they were already about to start the half marathon awards. Since I wasn't anywhere near getting an award, and was super tired, I hopped on my bike and rode home to take a shower and lick my wounds.

The statistics: I finished in 2:48:06 - barely less than an hour slower than my time of 1:48:51 from last year. (It felt like I was drinking more water out there this year, but since I was out there for an extra hour, that would make sense.) Went from 8th overall and 1st in my age group to 89th overall and 15th in my AG. Full results here.

Despite my slow time, and the soreness I'm having today, I'm glad I got out and did it. Thanks to the Silver State Striders for putting on a great race.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Races this weekend, 5/19-20/12

Hey, look at me finally getting around to post about the races going on for the upcoming weekend! A couple of races, both on Saturday:

Saturday, May 18, 2012

Silver State 50/50

One of the longer-running races in the area - this is the 27th year for the ultras, and the 4th for the half-marathon. Starting at Rancho San Rafael and exploring the Peavine foothills, it has (as their website puts it) "dirt, rock, pine trees, excellent single track, altitude and exquisite views of the Sierra Nevada and the Truckee Meadows." Not to mention a well-marked course and great aid stations. Registration is tonight at Eclipse Pizza, but the site says they'll have race-day reg as well -

Race Reports from 2009, 2010 and 2011 

Reno 5000 Race #2 - Hidden Valley Regional Park

The second in the Reno 5000 series, which is held on trails this year. The first one was at Rancho San Rafael, and now it moves to Hidden Valley Park. I've never run out there, but I've biked in the area a few times, and there are some great trails. And of course, the Reno 5000 people put on a great race.

Have fun out there, everybody!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

2012 Reno Rock 'n' River races

Couldn't have asked for a better day for a race. I could've asked for a lot more training going into it, though.

After not being able to find the key for my bike lock, I was late in cruising downtown for the race start. After locking up my bike, I had a good 3 minutes before the half marathon started. Good thing I didn't need to use the restrooms or anything.

The first mile was crowded and easy, but I didn't think I was going to go any faster than that - and it was somewhere in the 9:20 range. It all slipped downhill from there - I didn't walk until after the 5 mile mark, but definitely took some walk breaks after that. At the 12 mile mark, I decided I was going to run the rest of the way in and see what I could do a mile in at that point. It was up near the 9:50 range. My overall time was 1:16:23, a 10:26 average pace and my worst road half marathon time ever by 3 minutes or so. (And 48 minutes slower than my PR here last year.)

Guess that's what comes from injury, laziness and lack of motivation. I've also got about 50 extra pounds that I didn't have at this time last year. Feels like running with a toddler strapped to the front of me. And looking at my training log for the first 4 months of this year, my monthly totals were 26, 27, 18 and 3. Miles. Total. For the month.

So it probably wasn't a good idea to jump right in and do this half. But this is a "legacy" run for me - I've done the half in all 5 years of the Rock 'n' River, and the Marathon de Mayo the two years previous to that. Didn't want to break the streak. That said, the injury that was bothering me at the end of last year is feeling bad again, right back to were it was. So yeah - probably wasn't the best idea.

The rest of Team Library Dork was out, though. Dave ran the 5k, Chris won the 10K despite his gimpiness, and Amber hit a 3 minute PR in the 10K. Great job out there, guys. Wish I could have represented a bit better. But at least I was out there and got it done.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rock 'n' River tomorrow

Who's going to be out there? Half of Reno, if the crowds at the packet pick-up at Scheels today are any measure. Ill be there, slogging my way through a possible Personal Worst half time. (But can't break the streak; I've done every year of this event) and the rest of Team Library Dork will be there as well. Say hi if you see us, and tell me to get my fat butt back in shape.